How To Make The Perfect Cheese Board.

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds.

You guys asked for it. The ultimate cheese board is here just in time for New Year’s Eve!

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I’m hoping that Santa was reaaaally good to all of you this year. And that he brought you everything you wanted. 🙂 With Christmas a few days behind us, it’s time to focus on New Years Eve!

Now, there is a time and place for a New Year’s Eve accompanied with a sparkly dress, 5 inch heels and a blow out at dry bar.

However, rather than go out and spend an inordinate amount of money on a prix-fixe meal, I’d rather host everyone at our house, throw together a version of my favorite cheese board, pop open some sparkling cider and call it a night. I can’t promise that I’ll make it to midnight, but I can absolutely promise great cheese and all sorts of fun time spent with those special to you!

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This year is all about the cheese plate and a handful of great friends to make an epic party.

I think cheese boards are a super stylish way to take your entertaining to the next level. Whether you use a plate, a wooden cutting board or a piece of slate, serving cheese is the smart host’s best party secret. Why? Because picking, pairing and presenting cheeses for your cheese board is simpler than you might think. I’ve been practicing my cheese plate making skills for the last few weeks and I’ve finally perfected this art form. (round of applause for me, thankyouverymuch)

So today, I’m bringing you my top tips for making the best cheese plate on the face of the earth….

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Selecting Your Cheeses

Contrast: The main purpose of a good cheese board is to give your guests as wide a range of experience as possible. Bring a variety of textures to the party. Look for cheeses of contrasting texture — mix it up with soft & firm, creamy & crumbly, and even the type of cheese including cow, sheep, goat. Create a palette of contrasting flavors as well — sweet to pungent, sharp to mellow.

Be Choosy: If you’re on a budget, opt for one or two fantastic cheeses as opposed to four or five so-so options.

Amount: Three ounces of cheese per person is a good rule of thumb.

Serving Tips

  • People eat with their eyes as well as their mouths — use a rustic board or slab of natural stone for an appealing, dramatic presentation and jazz up the board with Blue Diamond Almonds, fresh fruit, dried fruit, fruit spread, honey, olives, and/or prosciutto. Get creative!
  • Make sure to serve a little something salty to combat all the richness of the cheese – we like prosciutto or olives!!
  • Allow all the different kinds of cheese to sit out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before your guests arrive and start nibbling! This will allow the cheese to be at it’s peak since all the oils will get moving!
  • Give your cheeses room to settle and breathe—you don’t want to crowd them on the dish.
  • Give people a selection of different crackers or breads – mix it up with some sliced crostini, different kinds of crisps, and some traditional flatbread crackers.
  • Display the cheeses in different forms, some can be cut into spears, other wedges, cubes, whole etc! Let you’re guests cut the soft cheese depending on how much they want!
  • Label, label, label: Make sure each cheese is labeled to indicate what kind it is, and include a separate knife for each cheese. Blue cheese swirled with brie? No thanks.

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Favorite Cheese Picks:

Manchego – aged 6 months
Midnight Moon
Fontina
Fisalini Bandage Cheddar
Jarlsberg

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And, while cheese platters are a hit at holiday parties, they’re also great for dinner every once in awhile. Sometimes we will assemble whatever cheese and meats we’ve got in the fridge, grab a bottle of red, and call it a day. Either way, you can’t lose!

Enjoy! What’s your favorite cheese for a cheese board? Got any tips to share?